People ask “If God really exists why do we suffer so much in life?” There are many answers. A possible explanation is that God has a great purpose in man’s sufferings. He uses suffering to bring the sufferer to know his saving power. Luke’s narrative of Jesus healing the ten Lepers is a classic example (Luke 17:11-19). We can draw six life applications from this incident today.
1. Leprosy as a symbol of deadly Problems
A. Lepers were ritually unclean and lived separately from the community, (Leviticus 14:36) There was no cure, (Hansen’s disease?).
C. Only two people were cured in the entire Old Testament History. They were Merriam and Naaman.
D. Like the ten lepers Everyone has 2 types of deadly problems. Physical problems such as sickness and debt. Then the sin problem separates us from God.
2. Jesus‘ ability to fix deadly Problems
A. Jesus has been there done that, (Hebrews 4:15). Christianity is about the living God, not a religion or a philosophy.
B. The same Jesus, who healed the ten lepers and many others, although he died for our sin was resurrected to life after three days and is alive today.
C. He has the authority to heal you and forgive your sin, (Mark 2:1-12). In fact, He alone can do it. Come unto Him today!
3. The ten lepers were Social Outcasts
A. He didn’t chase them away. Unlike the Priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, neither He sought a route of escape.
B. The social outcasts of our day: Drug addicts, Porn Stars, Prostitutes, Criminals, Homosexuals, Physically and mentally despaired, HIV patients, beggars you name it.
C. If He has compassion for the porn star will He not care for you? The world rejects. God accepts.
4. The ten lepers pleaded for Mercy
A. Jesus’ popularity in the region as a miracle worker was widespread. Probably these Lepers had heard of Him. They recognized Jesus’ authority and sought after His mercy.
B. Admit your need and trust God to touch you: People accept they have a physical need but too many deny that they have a spiritual need. Such people also can receive God’s favor – but they will miss the most important thing in life, salvation for the soul.
C. But unto those who accept He will grant freedom, (John 3:18) Jesus was on His way to an important destination. But He took the time to help the Lepers. God is a loving God who cares for those who come unto Him.
5. The ten lepers acted out their Faith
A. Jesus didn’t heal the ten Lepers the usual way. They were told to go and appear before the priests instead. They were healed while they were on their way.
B. Faith is trusting and obeying God even if you don’t have any visible, physical evidence supporting your decision.
C. Faith means enduring the test of time. (some times God heals instantly. Sometimes He takes longer) Trust God for His word – Peter walked on water he trusted Jesus for His word, (Romans 10:17)
6. Only one of them was truly Healed
A. Nine lepers never returned. What would be the reason? They were obedient to a point, but they failed in the end.
B. What are your excuses for receiving the benefits of Christianity and rejecting the savior, (Read the illustration)
C. “Your faith has made you well.” Literally means “saved”. Three primary meanings are (1) Physical healing and even an exorcism (2) Saving of one’s physical life (3) Eternal salvation. The Samaritan Leper’s “salvation” went beyond the cleansing of his leprosy to the cleansing of his sin.
Commit your life unto the Lord Jesus Christ in gratitude to what He will do for you this evening and He will give you the gift of eternal life. The miracle and the power he wants you to encounter this evening is just a glimpse of what Jesus has for you in the store, (1 Corinthians 2:9). The Samaritan leper made the right decision. What will you do with Jesus this evening? The decision is yours.
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